If a loved one has died, it’s normal to miss them at key moments throughout the year, especially during the holiday season. At Sunset View Cemetery & Mortuary, our compassionate staff members want our neighbors in Piedmont, Oakland, and Pinole to know that we understand how tough the holidays can be for those who are missing a loved one. Gathering with family and friends for the holidays can drum up feelings of sadness and grief, no matter how long ago the death occurred. Rather than fight these emotions, this Thanksgiving, try honoring your loved one in one of these special ways.
Serve their favorite dish.
Perhaps your loved one enjoyed eating green bean casserole, herb-flecked stuffing, or creamy mashed potatoes. Whether it’s a side dish or a dessert, make their favorite recipe and share it with your dinner guests. Let them know why you’re serving the dish and how meaningful it is to you.
Assemble a centerpiece in their honor.
A beautiful centerpiece can make a Thanksgiving gathering feel extra special. A centerpiece anchors a dinner table and sets a tone for the evening’s celebration. Try weaving your loved one’s favorite dried flower or ribbons in their favorite color into the centerpiece decoration.
Set a place for them.
Setting a place for your loved one at the table can be a comforting thing for those who are grieving. Before doing so, you may want to check that this is okay with other family members, as it might make some people uncomfortable or sad. Consider meeting in the middle and simply pulling an extra chair up to the table rather than setting up dinnerware.
Put together a memorial table.
If you’re celebrating Thanksgiving at your home, set up an extra table in the house in your loved one’s honor. Some people call it a memory table, while others may refer to it as a memorial table. It usually consists of favorite photos, small belongings like jewelry, and personal artwork or letters. Candles add a nice decorative touch.
Have your guests share their favorite memories of your loved one.
Before or after the meal, have your guests go around the table and share their most-loved memories. They can be happy, sad, or anything in-between. Talking about your loved one can help everyone feel more connected to each other and to their memory.